In Part 1 of this two-part series, I described the importance of prioritizing design critique. As UX designers, we often receive little support for cultivating our craft and the quality of our design deliverables, especially in enterprise environments where User Experience is often underfunded and poorly understood. If we, as UX designers, do not prioritize design critique, nobody else will.
I also explained the importance of having a shared understanding of what design critique means because people often confuse it with doing design reviews. I presented some ground rules for design-critique activities—similar to those my teammates and I at Rockwell Automation have instituted. Providing such guidance can help lower any barriers that would hinder your ability to conduct these activities. Further, I described a process you can follow when conducting design critique, because it is often best to assign tangible actions to rules and heuristics so people see how to carry out related activities. Finally, I presented some ideas for building accountability into the design-critique process, acknowledging that even the best rules and procedures won’t work unless people are committed to executing them. Read More
Feedback is a critical component of the overall design process, so it warrants more than just some nice-to-follow guidelines and best practices. A polite reminder to observe the proper critique etiquette doesn’t cut it. To make the most of feedback sessions, managers and team leads need to set ground rules for design critiques.
Stakeholder-feedback sessions deserve the same rigor, consistency, and diligence as any other step in the design lifecycle. Conducting even a single design evaluation properly—with the right intentions—has the potential to propel designs from good to great. Unfortunately, design critiques often suffer from ambiguous expectations, unclear agendas, a lack of focus—or an undue fixation on peripheral issues—unbridled biases, impertinent opinions, or a cacophony of unmoderated voices. Read More
Our experts first discuss how to elicit clear product requirements from stakeholders. Does the right approach differ for small versus large companies? Do product requirements capture the goals of stakeholders? Do requirements reflect the true needs of users? Do they establish a good understanding of technical constraints? How can you validate the assumptions behind product requirements? What kinds of research should influence the definition of product requirements? How should you balance the needs of users versus the business?
Then, our expert panel considers some different viewpoints from which we can review design solutions: stakeholders’ business goals, the needs of users in various roles, and the feasibility or ease of implementation. On the other hand, focusing on one particular user’s needs during a design review can yield a greater number of insights. Considering different user-interface layers lets you structure your evaluation of a design solution. Plus, it’s important to consider the effectiveness of design artifacts as well. Read More